Absolutely Traumatized By My Filter

FujiFish

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Tank details:
I have a 55 gallon Fish tank with a Marineland Bio-wheel Penguin 350 filter and a Fluval Q2 air pump that attaches to an airstone strip and a filter sponge. The aquarium housed 1 fancy goldfish. I have been using this tank for more than a year and do regular 25% water changes every 5 days using a gravel vacuum and Seachem Prime water conditioner.

So I just got back from a weekend-long trip to find my 2-inch fancy goldfish missing
. I had my mom taking care of her and feeding her regularly while I was gone. At first, it was a mystery, I thought perhaps she was hiding or worst-case scenario one of my cats got to it. However, my cats have never seemed to notice the fish swimming above them and if they had they are hardly nimble enough to be able to catch it. I emptied the filter and was relieved to not find a fish inside.

The next day I fully cleaned the aquarium and noticed a rank smell from inside the intake tube. I was absolutely horrified to find my beautiful fish inside just before the impeller blades. I pray she died quickly but I can't help but feel guilty and disgusted with what happened.

What can I do to ensure this never happens again? I want to perhaps build a sump instead of having a Hang-On-the-Back filter but honestly, I feel pretty discouraged. It seems very confusing and complex. I'd probably need to build a new stand for the tank because it is only a foot off the ground so it can fit under the window in the shade.
 

SM1199

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Every filter I've ever seen has a plastic colander-like attachment to the end of the intake tube. Does yours not have this? It should 100% prevent a 2-inch goldfish from being sucked up.
 
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FujiFish

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Every filter I've ever seen has a plastic colander-like attachment to the end of the intake tube. Does yours not have this? It should 100% prevent a 2-inch goldfish from being sucked up.
Yes I have that part, but while I was gone I guess it had fallen off. When I got back, it was on the bottom of the aquarium. I don't know how that could've happened because it was pretty secure and had never fallen off before.

I guess it wasn't as secure as I thought it was.. :'(
 
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Mesofruffeh

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I am so sorry for your loss, it's so painful to think there is something else you could have done in situations like this, but alas, we live and learn... and most of the time it's not really even our fault even if we do blame ourselves. So try not to be too hard on yourself. I am currently facing the same situation with blaming myself, and I know it's a lot easier said than done.

I have the same kind of filter and I took the little basket off and put a sponge intake cover over the tube. I can almost 100% guarantee that won't come off! Or at least mine don't, they fit very snugly. I ordered a bag of like 20 of them off of amazon for super cheap, but they can also be purchased at your local pet store. We have to take it off at least once or twice a week and rinse it, they get pretty full of crud pretty fast, but even our grain of rice sized platy babies have no problem getting away from the intake sponge. I hope this helps, and big hugs to you!
 
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FujiFish

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I am so sorry for your loss, it's so painful to think there is something else you could have done in situations like this, but alas, we live and learn... and most of the time it's not really even our fault even if we do blame ourselves. So try not to be too hard on yourself. I am currently facing the same situation with blaming myself, and I know it's a lot easier said than done.

I have the same kind of filter and I took the little basket off and put a sponge intake cover over the tube. I can almost 100% guarantee that won't come off! Or at least mine don't, they fit very snugly. I ordered a bag of like 20 of them off of amazon for super cheap, but they can also be purchased at your local pet store. We have to take it off at least once or twice a week and rinse it, they get pretty full of crud pretty fast, but even our grain of rice sized platy babies have no problem getting away from the intake sponge. I hope this helps, and big hugs to you!
Thank you so much for this response, seriously! It is so painful knowing you caused your fish harm. I will definitely look into that before I set up the tank again. So smart!
 

Mongo75

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Sorry for your loss. I know the feeling, and the remorse we all feel when it "seems" like its our fault. About 7 weeks ago, I lost one of my 2 Angel's when one got stuck between the intake strainer and the back glass. I felt so bad. I had just brought it home the day before. Sometimes, stuff happens, and we can't blame ourselves in hindsight.
 

Islandvic

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Try wrapping some plumbers teflon tape around the intake tube where it connects together.

It will give it a snug fit, reducing the chance of it coming off.

Or switch to filters that use round intake tubes, and attach a sponge pre-filter.

I like the ATI Filter Max III.




It will block fish from getting sucked it. It will also catch all the medium and large sized muck and help colonize beneficial bacteria.
 
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FujiFish

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Try wrapping some plumbers teflon tape around the intake tube where it connects together.

It will give it a snug fit, reducing the chance of it coming off.

Or switch to filters that use round intake tubes, and attach a sponge pre-filter.

I like the ATI Filter Max III.




It will block fish from getting sucked it. It will also catch all the medium and large sized muck and help colonize beneficial bacteria.
Great idea, thank you!
 
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